The Cypriot government has pledged continued financial support for the tourism industry throughout 2010.

In 2009 it dedicated €52 million to support the sector and has promised the same next year, in addition to introducing further planning incentives.

Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism Antonis Paschalides said this year had been challenging due to the world economic downturn, the weakness of sterling and the high cost of fuel.

He added: “The UK is our most significant market, and we’re doing everything in our means to support efforts to maintain visitor levels.”

The minister revealed he was concerned in the first half of 2009 that Cyprus would see a 20% decline in visitor numbers from the UK.

He said: “I now hope we will end the year just 10% down, due to our fast and effective action.”

Sunvil Holidays managing director Noel Josephides, who runs a programme to the destination, added that tourism to Cyprus would be further helped by changing circumstances in the UK.

He said: “We need two little miracles. First, we need sterling to strengthen. Second, and more likely, we need another terrible summer of wet weather in Britain.”